A fast car proved to be Ryan Hunter-Reay undoing in Saturday's DXC Technology 600 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

The Andretti Autosport driver led a race-high 90 laps and ultimately finished fifth after a late stop for fresh tyres.

The driver of the No. 28 DHL Honda for Andretti Autosport had the car to beat in clean air and could gap his rivals with relative ease. The necessary evil of that in the 2014 Indianapolis 500 winner needing an additional pitstop or a yellow flag to complete the race's 600-kilometer distance.

"The whole thing kind of just unraveled on us," said the 18-time Indy car race winner. "The car was great. It definitely could have won us the race tonight but we just lost it on strategy. This No. 28 DHL team has done so great in the past on strategy so it's not like I can sit here and call anyone out because we've won a lot of these races the same way."

The yellow he needed came on Lap 219, but it was too short to extend his gas mileage. He pitted for fuel and fresh tyres and looked to replicate his winning performance from Iowa in 2014 when he blasted to the win on fresh rubber.

The hole proved to be too deep as he only fought his way to fifth.

Hunter-Reay admitted that the race came undone when he hit the first bunch of backmarkers in the opening stint.

"I think it had a lot to do with us catching traffic," he said. "It took us too long to get to the first batch and we burned fuel trying to get them and then, it snowballed out of control, because we pit a lap shorter and then two laps shorter than the other guys, leading so much."

While he armed himself with fresh tires for the final restart, it proved futile as the tyre falloff was lower than expected.

"I thought the new tires are going to be a lot more performance than they were," he said. "I was able to make up some ground on the start but once everyone settled into a rhythm with the temperatures as cool as they were, the discrepancies between new and old was not a difference," he said. "There was no difference."

Hunter-Reay leaves Texas seventh in points, 115 markers behind points leader and race winner Josef Newgarden.